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is today leaves four u.s. service members dead. as the anti-american protests over a u.s.-made anti-muslim film spread across the arab world from africa to afghanistan to australia, here at home, big questions remain about the safety of u.s. personnel overseas. and how all this will affect campaign 2012. we'll cover it all from all sides with the president of libya's general national congress mohamed magariaf. u.n. ambassador susan rice, and republican senator john mccain.
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for analysis we'll look to former u.s. ambassador to israel martin indyk. the president of the council on foreign relations, richard haass. and "new york times" columnist tom friedman. plus we'll talk to the chief washington correspondent of the "times" david sanger. "time" magazine deputy international editor bobby ghosh. and cbs news political director, john dickerson. this is "face the nation" upon captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. with >> good morning again. and here is the latest news from overnight. four american military people have been killed in an attack in southern afghanistan. this happened when at least one afghan police officer opened fire on them at a checkpoint. the state department has ordered all nonessential u.s. embassy
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personnel to leave tunisia and sudan, and protests against americans continue in at least 20 countries. we're going to start this morning with libya and the latest on tuesday's attack. we spoke a little earlier this morning with the president of libya's national congress, mohamed magariaf. how many people have now been arrested, mr. president? >> oh, i think the number has reached about 50. >> schieffer: about 50 people have been arrested. who are these people? you have said they were connected to al qaeda. are they all foreigners? >> a few of them are. >> schieffer: and who are the others? >> the others are affiliates and maybe sympathizers. >> schieffer: where do you think the foreigners are from, mr. president? >> may entered libya from different directions, and some of them definitely from algeria.
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>> schieffer: you have said this this is does not-- this attack did not reflect anti-american feelings by the vast majority of people in your country. tell us about that. >> yes, these ugly deeds, criminal deeds against were directed against them, the late ambassador, chris city ofep citd chiz colleagues does not represent in any way, in any sense, the perhapserations of fieldings of the libbia towards the united states and its citizens. >> schieffer: was this a long-planned attack, as far as you know. what do you know about that? >> the way this perpetrators acted, moved, and their choosing specific date for this so-called
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demonstration, i think we have no-- this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined. >> schieffer: and you believe this was the work of al qaeda and you believe that it was led by foreigners. is that what you're telling us? >> it was plans definitely, was planned by forers, by people who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their arrival. >> schieffer: mr. president, is it safe for americans there now? >> the security situation is-- is difficult, not only for americans. even for libbians themselves. we don't know what are the real intentions.
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of these perpetrators. how they will react. but there is no specific particular concern, danger for americans or any other foreigners. but the situation is not easy to keep stability. yes >> mr. president, will it be safe for the f.b.i. investigators from the united states to come in, or are you advising them to stay away for a while? >> maybe it is better for them to stay for a little while, for a little while. but until we-- we-- we do what we have to do ourselves. but, again, we'll be there for their presence to help further the investigation. i mean, any hasty action i think is not welcomed. >> schieffer: i want to thank
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you very much for joining us this morning. thank you, sir. >> thank you so much. >> schieffer: and joining us now, suesap rice, the u.n. ambassador, our u.n. ambassador. madam ambassador, he said this is something that has been in the planning stages for month. i heard you were saying you think it is spontaneous? >> bob, let me tell you what we believe to be the assessment at presence. first of all, very purpose rimportantly, as you discussed, there is is an investigation that will be done by f.b.i. they are not on the ground yet but they have begun looking at all source of evidence of various sorts available to them and us. they will get on the ground and continue the investigation. we'll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. our assessment at the present is
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in fact it began spontaneously in benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired hours earlier in cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. but soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in libya post-revolution. and that it spun from there into something much, much more violent. >> schieffer: but you do not agree with him that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago? >> we do not-- we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude this was premeditated or preplanned. >> schieffer: do you agree or disagree with him that al qaeda had some part in this? >> well, we'll have to find out that out. i think it's clear there were
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extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. whether they were al qaeda affiliatees, whether they were libyan-based extremists or al qaeda itself i think is one of the things zeal to determine >> there seem to be demonstrations in more than 20 cities as far as we know yesterday. is there any sense that this is leveling off? >> well, on friday, of course-- i think that's what you're referring to-- there were a number of places around the world in which there were protests, many of them peaceful. some of them turned violent. and our emphasis has been and the president's, has been very, very clear about this, priority number one is protection of american external facilities. and we have been working now very constructively with host governments around the world to provide the kind of protection we need and to condemn the violence. what happens going forward, i think it would be unwise for any of us to predict with certainty. clearly the last couple of days have seen a reduction in protests and a reduction in violence. i don't want to predict what the
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next days will yield. >> schieffer: the romney campaign continues to criticize the administration. paul ryan was on the campaign trail yesterday saying that the obama administration has diminished america's presence overseas and our image, a direct quote, "if we project weakness, they come. if we are strong, our adversaries will not test us and our allies will respond to us." what's your response to that. >> it's two-fold. first of all, bob, i think american people expect in times of challenge overseas for our leaders to be unified. and to come together. and to be steadfast and steady and calm and responsible. and that certainly is what president obama has been. with respect to what i think is a very empty and baseless charge of weakness, let's be plain-- the american people know the record very well. president obama said when he was running for president that he would refocus our efforts and attentions on al qaeda.
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we've decimated al qaeda. assume iosamabin laden is gone. he also said we'd end the war in iraq responsibly. we've done that. he has protected civilians in libya, and qaddafi is gone. i serve up at the united nations, and i see every day the difference in how countries around the world view the united states. they view us as a partner. they view us as somebody they want to work with. they view president obama as somebody they trust. our standing in the world is much stronger so it charge of weakness is really quite baseless. >> schieffer: do you think mitt romney spoke inappropriately when he criticized and issued a statement so early in this turmoil? >> bob, i think you know, in my role, i'm not going to jump into politics and make those judgments. that's for the american people to decide. >> schieffer: madam ambassador thank you for being with us. >> thank you very much. >> schieffer: and joining us now for his take on all this, the ranking republican on the senate armed services committee, john mccain. senator, you've got to help me out here.
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the president of libya says that this was something that had been in the works for two months, this attack. he blames it on al qaeda. susan rice says that the state department thinks it is some sort of a spontaneous event. what do you make of it? >> most people don't bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration. that was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact i think is really ignoring the facts. now, how long it was planned and who was wil involved, but theres no doubt there were extremists and there's no doubt they were using heavy weapons and they used pretty good tactics-- indirect fire, direct fire, and obviously they were successful. could i just say our prayers are with chris stephen and glen doherty and tyrone woods and sean smith who gave their lives and chris stevens in benghazi during the fighting, he was putting his life on the line
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every day. he was living in a hotel. i was with him on july 7 when the libyan people voted and he and i were down where thousands of people were saying to him, "thank you, thank you, america, thank you." so the last thing that chris stevens would want the united states to do is to stop assisting libya as they go through this very difficult process. trying to establish government and democracy >> is there something more going on here than a difference of opinion when the administration spokesman today says that she believes and the administration believes this was just a spontaneous act? >> how spontaneous is a demonstration when people bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons and have a very tactically successful military flation but there are so many things that we need to cover but the fact is that the united states is weakened. and, you know, it was osama bin laden that said when people see
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the strong horse and the weak horse, people like the strong horse. right now, the united states is the weak horse. in iraq, it's unraveling. in iraq, al qaeda is coming back. it is in danger of breaking up into sunni-shia and kurd-- by the way, iranian flights are overflying iraqs with weapons for cd barb. in afghanistan again, you just saw, the worst thing for any military moral is the killing by your allies that continue to escalate. it's unraveling because all we tell the afghan people is we're leaving. we're not telling them we're succeeding. we're telling them we're leaving. in syria, 20,000 people have been massacred. these people cry out for our help. they've been massacred, raped, tortured, beaten. and the president of the united states will not even speak up for them, much less provide them with the arms and equipment for a fair fight. when russian arms are flowing in, iranian help and hezbollah on the ground.
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>> schieffer: what is it that we're doing wrong here? >> well, it's disengagement. prior to 9/11, we had a policy of containment. then after 9/11, it was confrontation with the terroristterrorists and al qaed. now it's disengangment. every time-- you just saw the spokesperson-- we're leaving iraq. we're leaving afghanistan. we're leaving the area. the people in the area are having to adjust and they believe the united states is weak, and they are taking appropriate action. and in israel, now we have a looming situation. is there anybody that doesn't believe that iran continues on the path to nuclear weapons, despite the sanctions that have been harmful to them? and here we are, in an open fight with the prime minister of israel. >> schieffer: well-- could i-- >> could i just say, we keep telling the israelis not to
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attack. shipment we be telling the irrainians we are together and there are bound reas they can't cross. instead we're in a continued public dispute with our closest allies. >> schieffer: let's talk about that a little bit. the prime minister says he wants the united states to announce a red line to say, "if you go beyond this point in your development of weapons, then that's too far, and we won't tolerate that." >> yes. >> schieffer: what is that line and what should it be? >> when they reached, in the israelis' view, when they reached a level where they can quickly assemble a nuclear weapon. apparently, in the administration's view, it's when they have a nuclear weapon, and that's a big difference. and the israelis' great fear is at some point the iranians are able to conceal and develop weapons to the degree that they militarily can't stop that. so then they'd have to rely on us. do you think that the israeli government right now would
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readily rely on us? i don't think so. >> schieffer: so what should we do? should we just tell the israelis, look we're with you guys. if you think we need to go, then we need to bomb and we're with you? >> there should be agreement where that point is. most of all, let's reassert american leadership in the region. let's point out this wasn't a video that caused this. it's a fight, a struggle in the arab world between the islamists and the forces of moderation. and they want america disengaged. we need to assist these people. obviously, we have the right and should demand the host nation provide security. but we should be assisting these countries and want fact is that for us to say it's all about a video, look, one of our fundamentals freedom of speech, and that's what the arab spring was about, to bring about an end to the censorship by their government among other things. so it's not a video. and by the way, i predict you, there will be many, many videos that will be out there.
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it was the islamists, radical islamists, advertising and pushing this objectionable, hateful video to incite the forces that would then bring about their assumption of power. that's what this is all about. >> schieffer: did mitt romney speak inappropriately when he spoke out so soon in all of this? >> if you look at the statement that was given by the american embassy, and later disavowedly by the administration itself, of course that was a very weak statement. this is-- it was a semi-apology. we shouldn't be apologizing for freedom of speech. we should be saying we demand freedom of speech for these people. that's one of the fundamentals of democracy. so the lack of symmetry on the part of the media in this campaign on this issue and on medicare and others, it's just saddening to me. >> schieffer: let me just go back to the business with israel. what should the united states do? should it tell israel, look,
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we're with you? and you take the lead here. or what-- what should we say? >> what we should do-- and it doesn't have to be public-- is sit down with the israelis-- by the way, rather than send our national security adviser and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to go to exprl come back and say, "we tell the israelis not to attack." is that-- is that the message we want to send to the iranians? and by the way, because of this weakness, the iranians don't believe we are going to do anything about their effort because of our other activities. we should in quiet negotiations say this is a line that you, israel, can be confident that we will not let them cross and we will act with you militarily. the israelis are aware of the consequences of acting alone in the arab world. but, by the way, the arab world will be celebrating in private if we deal this blow to the iranians. again, the syrian people need our help. >> schieffer: senator mccain, thank you so much. and we'll be back in one minute
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let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. >> schieffer: and we're back now to talk more about the situation in the middle east with former israeli ambassador martin indyk, who is now vice president of foreign policy at the brookings institution, "new york times" columnist tom friedman other and joining us from new york, richard haass, president of the council on foreign relations. richard, let me just start with you. what do you mac make of what has happened this past week? is this more than just about a film? why does this go from here? >> slucialghts it's more than about a film. this is the equivalent of a forest fire. anything could set it off. the film is the wrong place to focus. essentially, bob, the old order in the middle east is gone. that's the order of authoritarian rescreams many who were pro-american, pro-westernuc
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the people didn't have much of the way in freedom to say the least. that srd now gone, or in many cases shaky. nothing has taken its place. we don't have governments in full control of their own countries. in some cases we don't have countries willing to fulfill their international obligations. they're not that ma toured democracies. we have in some cases simply majority rule. the old world of the middle east is gone, no new world has taken its place and i think the president was right in one thing he said the other day-- these countries are not allies. they're not adversaries. they're somewhere in between. in some ways at best, they're getting their footing. the muslim brotherhood has to decide whether it's a government, political party, or popular movement. each has different dynamics, so for right now and the foreseeable future and then some, i think we're going to be dealing with a middle east that will look more like a wild west than anything else. >> schieffer: let me go to martin indyk quickly. what do you see the impact of this weekend on the differences now surfacing between israel and
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the united states over iran, mr. ambassador? >> well, i think that israel is very nervous about the rapid deterioration in its neighborhood. the turmoil that we see from here, they see from a much closer perspective. and that combines with the-- as the prime minister puts it-- the race of iran towards nuclear weapons capability. the fear that the egypt-israel peace treaty will start to come apart. the concern that in syria, what's happening there could lead to an islamist government taking over eventually there as well. but before that, decept into chaos on the northern border. all of that, i think, makes them very nervous, and that's why the prime minister is coming out much more vocally than one might have expected in the midst of an election campaign here saying, you know, we need-- we need reauof assurances. we need red lines against the
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iranians because from his point of view, that's the greatest difference. >> schieffer: i want to come back to that. tom, i want to talk to you what kind of an impact on syria and what's happening there? >> well,un, bob, let's talk about syria in light of what happened this week. as senator mccain said, 20,000 people have been killed in syria over the last year. has a single syrian embassy been ransacked or attacked around middle east? think about that. 20,000 arab muslims in syria have been killed, and there hasn't been a single protest around the arab world. yet, our embassy in cairo and libya are-- our consulates there were ransacked because of a nut-ball film on youtube. and what that tells you is, a., one, how confused and fraudulent a lot of these protests are, in my view. i don't think a youtube video compares to people creating an image of god being killed. let's start there. but it also tells you there's just a huge fight going on for
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reasons mart and i know richard have said over what is going to be the future of this region. who is going to set the rules? right now you have the far-far right in the muslim world trying to challenge the right in the muslim world, and no leaders really standing up and charting, i think, a progressive forward future. >> schieffer: well, that sets up our discussion for the second half of our broadcast. we're going to take a commercial break and we'll be back in just a minute. it's something you're born with. and inspires the things you choose to do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology. we believe in the power of people when technology works for you. to dream. to create. to work. if you're going to do something.
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Face the Nation
CBS September 16, 2012 8:30am-9:00am PDT

News/Business. News interviews with distinguished national and foreign figures. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 16, Libya 9, United States 9, Israel 8, America 7, Syria 6, U.s. 5, Iraq 4, Martin Indyk 3, U.n. 3, Benghazi 3, Al Qaeda 3, Afghanistan 3, Tom Friedman 2, Mccain 2, Richard Haass 2, Obama 2, Washington 2, Cairo 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2
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